Sunday, November 17, 2019

ARC Review: The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings (Black and Blue #1) by Lily Morton


Levi Black is at a crossroads. After suffering a loss and breaking up a long-term relationship, he’s looking for a change. When he receives the news he’s inherited a house in York, he seizes the opportunity to begin a new chapter in his life.

However, when he gets there, he finds a house that has never kept its occupants for very long. Either through death or disinclination, no one stays there, and after a few days of living in the place, Levi can understand why. Strange noises can be heard at all hours of the day and night, and disturbing and scary things begin to happen to him. He never believed in ghosts before, but when events take a sinister turn, he knows he must look for help. He finds it in the unlikely form of the blue-haired leader of a ghost tour.

Blue Billings is edgy, beautiful, and lost. Utterly lost. He conceals so many secrets that some days it’s a miracle he remembers his own name. He knows that he should ignore Levi because he threatens the tenuous grip Blue has on survival. But there’s something about the kind-eyed man that draws Blue to him. Something that demands he stay and fight for him when he would normally run in the opposite direction.

As the two men investigate the shocking truth behind Levi’s house, they also discover a deep connection that defies the short length of time they’ve known each other. But when events escalate and his life is on the line, Levi has to wonder if it was wise to trust the Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings.

Todd's rating:


This was such a fun story, with loads of intrigue and digging up the past, sometimes quite literally.

London resident and recently-single Levi needed a major life change, so after his partner cheated, he moved to York to fix up a (HAUNTED MURDER!!!) house that he'd recently inherited.

Then, as Levi began to realize the he was indeed the proud owner of a haunted murder house, that gave him the perfect opportunity to finally approach his blue-haired cutie crush, who led the local ghost tour.

I adored Blue, and hearing his story of being homeless since age 13 was heartbreaking, so never having known real love, he was beyond wary of his developing feelings toward Levi.

This book had a bit more serious tone to it than some of Lily's very comedic reads, but it had a lot of feels and some funny moments. Like the "tea towel incident", which made me laugh extremely hard.

The horror elements were pretty spooky, although not all of the ghosts that Levi and Blue encountered were of the murdery variety, which was nice.

Like the kitchen scene where Levi's spirits inexplicably lightened and he found himself dancing to an old song from his childhood, but also doing much more at the same time. GAH! Touching scene was very touching.

The story had manageable levels of angst throughout, but I can happily report that there was no "Big Misunderstanding" driving the drama train here. That was handled nicely by a steady stream of ghost-related events that moved the story along at a decent pace.

In regards to steam, this book was an extremely slow burn, with any "real" steam being held off until around 80% or so (I think?)

As for the side characters, I totally fell in love with the old, fussy bookseller, Tom, and Blue's best friend, Will, and am dying to see where their stories go as the series proceeds, although Lily told me that the next book(s?) would be a continuation of Levi and Blue's story.

This story ended at a good place, but with a bit of a "WTF, Lily?" moment, so this wasn't a full-on HEA just quite yet, but I would anticipate that big step happening by the next book.

I'd rate this book at around 4.25 stars and kudos to the author for the inclusion of the Sam and Dean Winchester references, which made me laugh.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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